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11 carrier's size and operations, including the number of overall quality and timeliness of the data. Analysts should use power units, drivers, and type of cargo. Information is based caution in making multi-year comparisons using MCMIS on Form MCS-150 the Motor Carrier Identification data until the reporting level and quality have stabilized at Report required of all carriers. their new higher level. MCMIS crash data from 2004 onward Crash file The National Governor's Association has are of considerably higher quality and completeness than are recommended crash data elements for all trucks with gross the data for prior years. vehicle weight >10,000 lbs who are involved in a towaway or injury/fatal crash in any state. Roadside Inspection file Driver and vehicle information on Roadway Inventory Data roadside inspections conducted in all 50 states. Data include State Inventory Data violations for both drivers and vehicles, out-of-service indi- cators, and, for drivers, moving violations (e.g., speeding) Each state highway agency and some local transportation which are associated with the inspection/stop. and public works departments, and regional planning agen- Compliance Review file Information on detailed on-site cies (e.g., MPO, RPA, RPC) collect and maintain roadway examinations of company records for targeted companies. inventory data on each section of roadway within the highway This includes information on violations of Federal Motor systems they control. The data are generally "cross-section" Carrier Safety Regulations and Hazardous Materials information on the roadway number of lanes, shoulder type Regulations found in driver qualification files, duty status and width, median descriptors, and pavement types. Most files, vehicle maintenance records, and safety management states also have supplemental files describing bridges (as part information. It also contains the "safety rating" which of the National Bridge Inventory) and railroad grade crossings results from the Review. (as part of the Federal Railroad Administration's Railroad Enforcement file Information on safety-related sanctions Grade-Crossing Inventory) that can usually, but not always, imposed on carriers by FMCSA. These can range from be linked to the basic roadway inventory file. A very few state placing the carrier (and all its vehicles) out-of-service to systems also include information on curves and grades, two fines and civil penalties. important safety predictors. A limited number of states also have developed intersection and interchange inventory files Data are input into the MCMIS files by state and federal truck providing detailed descriptions of such items as intersection safety staffs using the SAFETYNET software. Listings of the type, traffic control type, turning lanes, mainline and cross- variables in the crash files can be found in the MCMIS Data road traffic volumes, interchange type, and ramp length. Dissemination Program Catalog at http://mcmiscatalog. There may also be additional roadway-oriented supplemental fmcsa.dot.gov/beta/Catalogs&Documentation. files on such safety-related information as skid numbers, These are the primary safety data used by FMCSA and state intersection turning counts, intersection signalization phas- truck safety staff in all safety-related efforts. Data from ing, pavement condition, and speed profiles. These files, which MCMIS are either used directly or modified for use in such are not always computerized, will vary in the degree of programs and methodologies as SAFER, SafeStat, and completeness and accuracy. While the basic inventory files can PRISM. State-based crash tables can be used to look at major usually be linked to the crash data, linkage between some of factors associated with truck crashes, and comparisons can be the supplemental files may be difficult. made between states. A large number of reports and analysis The basic inventory file is usually organized as "homo- tools can be found at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/ geneous sections" of a given route, where all the basic in- facts-research.htm. The "Crash Profiles Online" tool within ventory items are constant. If an item changes value, a new the "Analysis and Information Online" (A&I Online) suite of homogeneous-section record begins. This leads to very short tools provides state-by-state truck crash statistics (see sections in most state files. Each section has an "address" http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/mcspa.asp). The A&I Online staff, as which often consists of a route and beginning and ending well as the MCSAP staff in each state can provide annual "milepost." Crashes are given a route and mileposts based on crash data for reportable crashes involving trucks, buses, and the investigating officer's location description so that they can vehicles placarded to carry hazardous materials. A recent be linked to the roadway file. Currently, these files are be- Government Accounting Office audit (21) pointed to serious coming geo-coded (i.e., coordinates are added), so that they data quality problems in MCMIS, especially in the crash data can be used in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The file. In 2001, FMCSA implemented a Crash Data Improve- move toward GIS mapping is causing some major changes in ment Program (CDIP) and, in 2004, a quality measurement the way locations are coded in roadway inventory files, and, system. Combined, these efforts have resulted in a large in- in many states, crash databases as well. At present, the most crease in the number of crashes reported to MCMIS and in useful and effective systems support multiple ways to define